Federal Jobs for Disabled Drop

Federal Jobs for Disabled Drop

Editor: The Federal Government is a great place for people with disabilities to work, right? They really try to hire people with disabilities and provide appropriate accommodations, right? I think it used to be that way, but a recent study by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) says that the Federal Government actually employs fewer people with disabilities than it did 10 years ago.

Here are a few paragraphs from the story. For the complete article, please point your browser to: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A29590-2004Jul5.html (You’ll have to sign up to access their website, if you haven’t already. As I recall, it’s pretty painless, and they don’t sell your email address to the Spam Kings.)

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July 2004

The 20 Percent Decrease Since ’94 Surprises Analysts, Advocates

By Christopher Lee Washington
Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, July 6, 2004
Page A17

The number of federal employees with severe disabilities has declined by nearly 20 percent over the last decade, challenging the long-held notion that the federal government is a haven of opportunity for such workers.

In fiscal 2003, federal agencies employed 25,551 workers who were deaf, blind, mentally ill or mentally retarded, or had other serious disabilities, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. That was a 19.8 percent decrease from 31,860 such federal workers in fiscal 1994, the EEOC found. The steady decline far surpassed the 7.6 percent reduction in overall civilian federal employment during the period, to 2.42 million workers (including the U.S. Postal Service).

The trend was among many employment issues highlighted in a new annual EEOC report on the federal workforce. The decline is important because the federal government always has striven to be a model employer that is open to everyone, said Catherine McNamara, a lawyer and adviser in the EEOC’s Office of Federal Operations.